Smart War Disinformation and the U.S. Military State, by Laurie Calhoun

Turns out that drone warfare is neither as precise or as morally antiseptic as advertised. From Laurie Calhoun at

Drone killing has long been billed by the military as a cleaner, smarter way to conduct war. The standard marketing line has been that with drones it is possible to neutralize even elusive enemies such as factional terrorists while sparing the lives of innocent persons, and without sacrificing any soldiers at all. The most effective propagandist throughout the period when drone assassination was redefined as “targeted killing” and normalized as a standard operating procedure was John Brennan, who served as Barack Obama’s drone killing czar before being promoted to the position of CIA director in 2013. During the eight years of the Obama presidency, many politicians were persuaded (along with the president) to support the use of lethal drones by Brennan’s duplicitous depiction of the practice of remote-control killing. Even some who claim to oppose capital punishment, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, have sung the praises of lethal drones.

That drones are more precise and discriminate implements of war, which can be used “surgically” to eliminate the “cancerous” enemy, has been the reflexive response by pundits, politicians, and the pro-military populace alike to anyone who dares to suggest that the hunting down and killing of individual human beings without indictment or trial violates the most basic principles of a democratic republic. In garnering support for remote-control killing, lethal drone advocates have capitalized on a confusing equivocation in their characterization of the targets. The victims are said posthumously to have been combatants, when in fact during the intelligence collection leading up to the strikes, they were suspects said to be potentially complicit in future possible crimes.

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